As I've mentioned, my family and I are making a move back to where I was raised. There are so many posts I could write on the subject, and I intend to, but for today my focus is what I've been working on in spare moments recently.
Western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Peace River Region of British Columbia) has a prairie shelterbelt program available for rural landowners of 5 acres (2 hectares) or more. More information on the program (along with excellent planting and care resources) is available on the website www.agr.gc.ca/agroforestry
Seedlings are provided free of charge (landowner pays shipping) for the following planting purposes:
Farmyard: for protection of a yard, residence or other buildings
Field: for soil erosion control of cultivated fields or protection of crops
Roadside: primarily for snow control along roads or lanes
Livestock: primarily for protection of livestock or livestock facilities
Wildlife: for improvement of wildlife habitat, including enhancement of shelterbelts
Riparian: to buffer between agricultural land and bodies of water, including flood plains and wetlands
Replacements: stock ordered as replacements to seedlings planted in recent years
The application requires a sketch of where the trees will go, including spacing and distance from roadways, buildings etc. I've put alot of time into the application and my drawing and it has helped me visualize what I want our yard to look like, and what we hope to accomplish for wildlife and shelter on our land. The effort of applying (not to mention the work of planting and watering!) will be well worth it in years to come when, hopefully, the trees protect our yardsite and provide food and shelter to wildlife in the area.
Is there a shelterbelt program in your area, and have you accessed it? Have you planted trees for wildlife habitat and shelter?